Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Why I'm Not Writing

1. At the store where I work, a customer sneezed all over my hands as I was giving her the change from her purchase. Now I can't stop sneezing.

2. Since I can't afford to take a sick day, I've been going to work and trying not to sneeze or cough on the other customers. I feel tempted to sneeze on a couple of the supervisors though, because they claim that the A/C in the store can't be fixed. It is extremely warm in the store and several customers have asked me if I'm going to pass out.

3. I think I might have accidentally mixed up my nighttime cold medicine with the daytime medicine, which might explain why I keep falling asleep on my laptop.

4. I thought about giving up TV for a week so that I'd have more time to write. I figured if I could survive a TV-free week, maybe I could cancel my cable and save money, even though I don't subscribe to extra cable channels or Netflix. But then when I went to sleep I kept dreaming of all the shows I was missing. (Side note: Jerry Seinfeld is kind of scary when you dream about him. Or at least he is when I dream about him.)

5. I considered rejoining okcupid, but I couldn't stop wondering if there's a way to loser-proof my profile.

6. I have to complete a draft of my dissertation, and I'm supposed to do a lot more research. But the only thing I feel like reading is People, which may be one of the reasons that my brain is not fully functioning right now.

7. I keep muttering "Murf" to myself when I'm at work, because one particularly stressful day I thought, I could kick a Smurf right now. (Side note: No Smurfs were hurt before, during, or after the writing of this post.)

8. I've been combing through the job ads to see if I can find something better than my current retail job. It turns out that there are a lot of (ahem) interesting characters on Craigslist, including one guy who wants to hire someone to spy on his wife because he thinks she's cheating on him, someone who wants a personal assistant who is "easy on the eyes", and a business owner who described himself as rich and good-looking and was looking for an "open-minded" receptionist.

9. I thought about starting my own Twitter page, but then I figured that most people aren't going to be interested in Tweets like "I managed not to yell at any drivers who were talking on their cell phones today" or "Would it be wrong to jump into tourists' pictures to make them stop blocking my way on the sidewalk?"

10. I keep wondering why two of my favorite shows, Law and Order and Law and Order: Criminal Intent, got cancelled but shows like Storage Wars were renewed and the Kardashians keep getting spinoffs.

But then I think about what my life would be like if I stopped writing altogether and how much I'd miss writing. I think about how I'd continue to feel the urge to grab my journal and a pen every time I saw/thought/heard/felt something weird, funny, or interesting. I think about all the characters I created who have become real to me and how I have to keep writing their stories so that I can find out what happens to them.

What about you? When you have writer's block, what are the reasons why?


  1. I take regular breaks from writing and try to engage more in life. It helps me find a balance.

  2. As long as you keep blogging, your writing musclesbwill stay in shape, but I agree, finding time to write is difficult. I have twins, so writing around their schedule can be challenging. I pretty much have to fit working on my blog, my book and any extra projects in whenever they're sleeping. Unfortunately I don't have a great formula other than having a drink, a cigarette and tapping at the keyboard when I have a chance.

    P.S You should join Twitter. Random thoughts make it interesting, even if you think yours are boring. I'd follow ya!


  3. Oh no you did not insult the Kardashians. Have you ever watched one of their shows or spin offs? Because I've seen every episode and those were some of the best hours of my life. They are a loving family with real issues and hilarious senses of humor. Seriously, try them on, money back guarantee!

  4. Oh no, what a horrible customer to sneeze on you!

    You'd be surprised what you can tweet about & get people interested in.

    Glad the Smurfs are safe! :)

  5. Hi Libby,
    It's hard for me to balance work and everything else, especially writing. This summer I've been spending more time on work; I wish I could just focus on writing.

    Hi Paige,
    Thanks! I have thought about joining Twitter, especially because I finally have a cell phone that I could use to update my Twitter page. But I think I'll just be blogging for now.

    Hi mmarinaa,
    I have tried watching Keeping up with the Kardashians and one of Kim and Kourtney's spinoffs; I didn't really like them very much. I don't think I could live like they do, especially because they don't have any privacy. But then again the only shows I really like are crime dramas.

    Hi notesfromnadir,
    I know, right? The customer didn't even apologize. I had hand sanitizer with me, though.
    I think that Tweets could be used as writing prompts. That is, it'd be easier to come up with at least one or two sentences first rather than one or two pages.

  6. I hope the sneezing passes soon (for the Smurfs' sake). As for not finding time to write- it'll always be there, even if you jot down notes in your journal or blog, as long as it makes you happy ...
    Twitter is a fun thing, I've been resisting it for long too, but if you follow the right people, there's always plenty of inspirational posts, and why not shout out to the world if you're feeling frustrated/happy/have something smart/funny to say?

  7. Hi Ivana,
    I have been reading Conan O'Brien's Tweets, because he's always so funny, both online and on his TV show.
    The sneezing hasn't completely passed, unfortunately. I think I might have recovered more quickly if I didn't have to work.

  8. I hope you're better at this point. I wish there was a better-paying job out there for you. It's not fair.

    Oh, if we could only loser-proof many things.

    If you had a Twitter feed like that, I'd join Twitter.

    I get writer's blog when I'm depressed usually. I can say it's being busy, but I've read manuscripts when I'm busy. The stars need to somehow be aligned.

    That's not helpful, is it? Sorry.

  9. Hi Theresa,
    I wouldn't mind working in retail so much if retail workers were paid more.
    I've been struggling with writer's block lately; I think it's partly due to the stress of my retail job. That's why I haven't been blogging as much. But fortunately the job is just for the summer, so I'll be able to spend more time on things I like to do soon enough.